Social differentiation of residential areas in Athens (Based on the spatial distribution of “upper professional categories”).
Produced by S. Spyrellis.

This issue of BCH, edited by Thomas Maloutas, Iris Polyzou, and Dominique Rivière, focuses on the current living practices in the metropolises of southern Europe. It is the fruit of collaboration between three research programs in the field of social geography and urban policies, including ‘Metropolises: crises and mutations in the Euro-Mediterranean space’, sponsored by Géographie-cités.

This dossier examines the socio-spatial dynamics of the metropolises of southern Europe: those produced by the co-presence of new and old inhabitants, new forms of touristification, changes in property ownership, and new large-scale investments in the urban periphery, but also those produced on a finer scale but in a particularly visible way in the city centers.

The changes in housing conditions and living practices presented in this dossier are diverse, depending on the history and context of each city. However, despite their diversity, these changes seem to have led to converging conditions, making access to housing more difficult and reinforcing residential segregation. This trend is all the more notable, as Thomas Maloutas, Iris Polyzou, and Dominique Rivière note in their introduction, “in that it is developing in cities with a relatively high social mix compared with other major European and world cities, where access to housing was more affordable for a large proportion of social categories, thus counteracting segregation.”

This issue demonstrates the value of crossing fields and approaches to tackle these issues of housing practices. Combining the biographies of actors and places (neighborhoods and, even more so, individual buildings), but also looking at the context and public policies (or lack thereof), this issue offers a degree of diversity in the approach to housing practices. By attempting to go beyond quantitative readings of housing and its socio-spatial differentiation, the articles in this issue highlight the importance of qualitative research in housing studies. The mixed-method approach adopted by the contributions in this issue calls into question what would appear to be an absolute distinction, and instead contributes to the current debate on the complementarity of quantitative and qualitative approaches“.

Thomas Maloutas, Iris Polyzou and Dominique Rivière, Introduction

This publication is the fruit of a collaboration between three research programs in the field of social geography and urban policies: “Observatoire des villes euro-méditerranéennes. Questions sociales et urbaines”, École française d’Athènes (EFA1), “Métropoles: crises et mutations dans l’espace euro-méditerranéen”, École française de Rome (EFR2) and “Histoires des immeubles athéniens” (ISTOPOL3).

Thomas Maloutas, Iris Polyzou and Dominique Rivière. Bulletin of Modern and Contemporary Hellenic Correspondence [Online], 7 | 2022, online June 19, 2023.

Metropolises: crises and mutations in the Euro-Mediterranean area

The ‘Metropolises: crises and mutations in the Euro-Mediterranean space’ programme, run by the École française de Rome in collaboration with the École française d’Athènes and (until 2019) Casa Velazquez, examines the impact of the 2008 subprime crisis and austerity policies on Euro-Mediterranean metropolises from a cross-scalar perspective, using disciplines concerned with territorial issues (geography, planning, sociology, etc.). It is based on collaboration with Italian, Spanish, and Greek partner universities, as well as with the CdV (2017-19), which examines the effects of the crisis on the main Spanish metropolitan areas, and the EFA Urban Observatory (2017-21), which analyzes socio-spatial metropolitan changes in Greece, particularly from the perspective of migration and segregation.

Dominique Rivière, a professor in the Department of Geography at Université Paris Cité and a member of Géographie-cités, is responsible for the programme, in which Camille Schmoll, Thomas Pfirsch, Pascale Froment, Annick Tanter-Toubon, Sarah Baudry, Dorian Bernadou and Sofiane Saadia also participated.

An end-of-programme book, “Les métropoles d’Europe du Sud à l’épreuve des crises du XXIe siècle,” bringing together the points of view of some thirty contributors in 9 chapters, is currently being published by the École française de Rome (publication:2024).


Created in 2019 by the École française d’Athènes, the Bulletin de correspondance hellénique moderne et contemporain is the modern and contemporary extension of the Bulletin de correspondance hellénique. Exclusively, electronic, transdisciplinary, and international biannual journals focus on the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, a crossroads cultural area marked by the influence of the Byzantine, Ottoman, and Venetian empires, as well as colonial ones.